Ian Anderson — Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull
(C&B Productions Cbp10260dvd, 2007, DVD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01Over the last several years, Ian Anderson has been taking breaks from his regular band work for the occasional solo album and tour. On this occasion, his four-piece backing band is supplemented by a small orchestra. In addition to some classic Tull selections, there are pieces from Anderson’s solo albums and a number of Christmas songs. The arrangements for the orchestra are both tasteful and inventive, treating the instruments with respect and giving them something more to do than play chords behind the band. “Aqualung” in particular gets a great new sound, taking it far astray from its hard rock beginnings. At various times, members of the orchestra get to step out front into the spotlight, most notably a flute duet with Anderson on “Griminelli’s Lament.” While the majority of the music is more or less acoustic, guitarist Florian Opahle gets to show off his rock chops on electric several times. Anderson himself performs quite admirably, with his flute sounding more fluid and nimble than ever, and though his voice may lack a bit of the range he had thirty years ago, he acquits himself well at all turns. The concert footage is augmented by a lengthy (48 minutes!) interview with Anderson in his home studio, covering a wide variety of topics, including some astute observations about the music business and the place of rock in music history. There are also conversations with some of the orchestra players for a little behind-the-scenes look at the show.
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more